Multiple plot lines become sullied and muddled until the end By then, it s hard to care much for the characters 3 of 10 stars This is your usual Iles A crusading and prize winning journalist returns to his small town Mississippi home to a less than functional family and barely functioning family newspaper There is a murder which provides the impetus for the narrative A cabal controls this town and nice men they are not They are plenty of lies, deceit, betrayal and backstabbing As I said, your usual Iles which is always entertaining. When Marshall McEwan Left His Mississippi Hometown At Eighteen, He Vowed Never To Return The Trauma That Drove Him Away Spurred Him To Become One Of The Most Successful Journalists In Washington, DC But As The Ascendancy Of A Chaotic Administration Lifts Him From Print Fame To Television Stardom, Marshall Discovers That His Father Is Terminally Ill, And He Must Return Home To Face The Unfinished Business Of His PastOn Arrival, He Finds Bienville, Mississippi Very Much Changed His Family S Year Old Newspaper Is Failing And Jet Turner, The Love Of His Youth, Has Married Into The Family Of Max Matheson, One Of A Dozen Powerful Patriarchs Who Rule The Town Through The Exclusive Bienville Poker Club To Marshall S Surprise, The Poker Club Has Taken A Town On The Brink Of Extinction And Offered It Salvation, In The Form Of A Billion Dollar Chinese Paper Mill But On The Verge Of The Deal Being Consummated, Two Murders Rock Bienville To Its Core, Threatening Far Than The City S Economic FutureAn Experienced Journalist, Marshall Has Seen Firsthand How The Corrosive Power Of Money And Politics Can Sabotage Investigations Joining Forces With His Former Lover Who Through Her Husband Has Access To The Secrets Of The Poker Club Marshall Begins Digging For The Truth Behind Those Murders But He And Jet Soon Discover That The Soil Of Mississippi Is A Minefield Where Explosive Secrets Can Destroy Far Than Injustice The South Is A Land Where Everyone Hides Truths Of Blood And Children, Of Love And Shame, Of Hate And Murder Of Damnation And Redemption The Poker Club S Secret Reaches All The Way To Washington, DC And Could Shake The Foundations Of The US Senate But By The Time Marshall Grasps The Long Buried Truth About His Own History, He Would Give Almost Anything Not To Have To Face It 4.5 Stars This is the 10th book by Greg Iles I have read Needless to say, if he wasn t one of the best storytellers around, I wouldn t have read 10 of his 16 novels Cemetery Road is a stand alone book which doesn t star Penn Cage, Iles most famous and well liked protagonists It also doesn t include one courtroom scene, which makes it different from most of Iles other books However, despite these differences, this book does not disappoint Cemetery Road tells its story through the eyes of Marshall McEwan, the publisher of a local newspaper The book begins with McEwan s good friend being murdered and McEwan taking a personal interest in attempting to solve the case He is met with strong opposition from a group of community power brokers nicknamed The Poker Club that basically run the town and everyone in it The Poker Club has a special interest in this case and in keeping it unsolved as it could disrupt a huge Chinese manufacturing plant from building and operating in the city, which would cost The Poker Club millions in profits This combined with the storyline of turmoil in Marshall s personal life the result of him having an affair with a good friend s wife form the plot of this 608 page novel As always, Iles does a great job of keeping the plot moving with so many twists and turns, I can t remember them all What makes Iles stand out among current authors, is that he writes long, character driven stories that are very well written, interesting and realistic This book is no exception and was great from start to finish It did not suffer from long, boring sections or chapters that many long books suffer The critiques I have of this book mirror my critiques of Iles other books 1 too much unnecessary cursing by all of the characters 2 it spends an inordinate amount of time condemning and ridiculing Christianity 3 most of the his characters are stereotypes either white, old south, racist powerbrokers think Boss Hogg or uneducated black persons who are very hard workers at menial jobs and who are of the highest character After 10 books, Iles needs to move on from his profanity and religious hang ups and expand his character base to include different new South type characters But great job on this one, and I hope to see Marshall McEwan in future Iles novels. 4 Stars.Complex, Twisty, Dark and Gritty Cemetery Road is a standalone novel by Greg Iles It is a brilliant character driven novel about family, friendship, love and politics in a small Mississippi town Marshall McEwan is a reporter who returns to Bienville after a long absence His father is ill and he has been tasked with taking over his dad s ailing newspaper, The Watchman Returning to Bienville is something he thought he d never do it holds too many bad memories for Marshall the loss of his brother Adam, the breakdown of his relationship with his father and losing the love of his life Jet, to his former best friend Paul Marshall s life has been full of one tragedy after another and upon his return to Bienville, it happens again Buck Ferris, a man who was like a father to Marshall is murdered and Marshall sets out to prove it, even though Buck s death is made to look like an accident It spells bad news for Marshall as the most powerful men in Bienville known as The Poker Club will do whatever it takes to stop him from spilling their secrets Turns out of course, that Marshall has a few secrets of his own, secrets that could hurt a lot of people, including his friends, his family and the love of his life and her husband What a brilliantly done, heart pounding saga What Greg Iles does best is his characterizations He draws you into the lives of his characters and makes you care as if your own life depended on it I was so invested in Marshall s life while reading this novel, that I was cussing and stomping my feet Jet I mean, really Really I detested her With every fiber of my being I wanted to shake Marshall and tell him to wake up and smell the coffee which, of course, he loved so ok, he might be a smart boy after all, hee hee That said, all I will say is that when he loves, his friends..etc., his family, he loves fiercely There was never a moment in this novel where I lost interest in the storyline even though the book is over 600 pages , I was fully invested from the first to the last I must provide a disclaimer that there are a few parts of this story that are a bit depressing thus please be aware of that before you start reading This novel also contains a few racy scenes for those of you who might feel the need to cover your eyes In case it hasn t been made obvious throughout the years, Greg Iles is one of my favorite authors I adore his writing style, his characterizations and the depths his characters go to, to get what they need and want I eagerly await the next book hitting the shelves and this novel was no different Admittedly, Penn Cage from Greg Iles serial novels is my favorite Iles character and I missed him something awful in this novel and I hope to see him again sometime soon Hint, hint Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins William Morrow and Greg Iles for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on Edelweiss, Goodreads and on 5.7.19. This book is fiction, but damn it, I know that what happens in this book happens in real life.A group of men obtain riches and power The they have, the they want They die and pass everything to their sons and then their sons Starting after the Civil War in Mississippi, this group of men has played a long game They spread their arms wide and circle the pot of poker chips in the middle of the table and pull the pile to themselves In Bienville, this group of men is known as the Poker Club They are bankers, lawyers, oil men, casino owners, businessmen, doctors they own the police and the judges They ve installed their U S Senator Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority still when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority John Dalberg Acton, 1887The Poker Club does provide for Bienville They are bringing in a billion dollar paper mill owned by the Chinese, and in exchange, the Chinese will have guaranteed favorable votes from the senator Along with the mill comes a new interstate highway, a bridge across the Mississippi River, and all the nationally known restaurants, coffee shops, department stores, bookstores, movie theaters You get the gist Throw in a world renown Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who comes home to tend to his dying estranged father, who is also a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, and things get dicey for the Poker Club.As with all Greg Iles s books, this is a rambling, all encompassing volume I was completely taken in by his storytelling There are some sexual references that might trigger some readers, so be forewarned. Different, complex, twisting story, a perfect combination of a family drama and real events on Florida mystery An absorbing crime story,grief, betrayal in Southern community A first rate journey into a small town s corrupt power brokers and the length they will go to protect their pockets SUMMARYMarshall McEwan vowed never to return to his hometown, Beinville Mississippi when he left at age eighteen He moved to Washington D.C and became an extremely successful and award winning journalist But now his father is now dying and his mother needs Marshall to help with the debt ridden family newspaper, The Watchman Soon after Marshall s return to Beinville, his boyhood mentor, Buck Ferris is found murdered at a soon to be construction site The site is that of a new paper mill, a billion dollar economic investment by a group of Chinese investors, in a town on the brink of economic death Buck had been looking for some 4,000 year old artifacts he believed to be at the site Bienville is thrown into chaos with the threat of historic artifacts on the site, which would kill the deal Marshall will stop at nothing to find Buck s killer His investigation brings him into conflict with the Poker Club, a corrupt group of Beinville s power brokers, who will not let anyone stand in their way of lining their pockets Marshall s high school sweetheart from over twenty years ago, Jet, still lives in Beinville and has married into the family of Max Matheson, patriarch of one of the families that rule the Poker Club Paul Matheson, Max s son, and Marshall s best friend growing up, is now married to Jet Paul, a Special Forces veteran, had saved Marshall s life in Iraq and is now suffering from PTSD Marshall and Paul s relationship is complicated Marshall adds to the complication when he renews a passionate affair with Jet that is bound to have major consequences Marshall is also suffering from several of his own issues When they were teenagers, Marshall s older brother Adam, a Bienville s star athlete drowned while trying to swim across the Mississippi River on a night of reckless teenage cockiness, for which Marshall has always blamed himself It is the reason he left Beinville immediately after high school His father has always blamed Marshall for Adam s death as well Marshall s return to Beinville was an opportunity for redemption and forgiveness REVIEWMurder, corruption, secrets and complicated personal relationships form the elements of this epic tale of a town and it s people struggling with economic viability The story is suspenseful and intense and the bad guys are beyond bad The writing is descriptive and evocative I found myself totally caught up in the deceptions, greed, infidelities and grief of this small town drama, as well as Marshall s efforts to do the right thing The characters are well drawn and richly flawed CEMETERY ROAD is a first rate journey into a small town s powerfully rich and greedy who will do and say anything necessary to protect their pockets GREG Iles has created a perfect blend of characters, setting and story This was my first Greg Iles novel, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it He had me with the first lyrical paragraph of the book I never meant to kill my brother I never set out hate my father I never dreamed I would bury my own son Nor could I have imagined that I would betray the childhood friend who save my life, or win a Pulitzer Prize for telling a lie And it just gets better from there My favorite part was exploring Marshall s emotionally wrenching relationship with his father While the book was lengthy, I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of the 590 pages Greg Iles lives in Natchez Mississippi and has written twelve bestselling novels, several of which have been made into films Thanks to LibraryThing, William Morrow and Greg Iles for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Publisher William MorrowPublished March 5, 2019Review www.bluestockingreviews.com I am afraid my thoughts on the latest novel by Greg Iles will not be that praising as in the case of the Natchez Burning Trilogy I was really looking forward to reading Cemetery Road since the deep south of the United States holds some allure that I can t resist The allure is still there, however, the novel disappointed me with regard to the characters, their secrets and their psychological development I am sorry but I did not find their actions and reactions believable The idea of punishing culprits responsible for the murder of an archaeologist who tries to veto destroying a site of great historic value sounds excellent, alas, the execution is of rather poor quality I did finish the book but it was like a little struggle on my side Perhaps it was not THE moment for reading Cemetery Road one star is for the plot, adding one for the setting, can t help myself.. Cemetery Road by Greg Iles is a 2019 William Morrow publication Small town corruption, family tragedies, betrayals, and murder In other words quintessential Greg Iles In this standalone novel, award winning journalist, Marshall McEwan, returns home to Bienville, Mississippi to be closer to his parents after his estranged father is diagnosed with Parkinson s At least that s what he tells himself Deep in his heart, however, he acknowledges an ulterior motive reuniting with his first love a woman named Jet, who just happens to be married to his best friend But when Buck Ferris, a man who had a strong influence on Marshall, is found dead, Marshall is convinced foul play is at hand But who would want to kill Buck and why Well, Buck may have made a discovery that could derail the proposed installation of a paper mill, which would breathe new life into the slowly dying town of Bienville A lot is at stake, and the town s powerful Poker Club will make sure the Chinese investors aren t scared off, which means Buck might have been collateral damage As Marshall digs deeper into the circumstances of Buck s death, the Poker Club members do what they do best make threats, intimidate, bully, and blackmail, and maybe even murder, anyone who stands in their way and Marshall and all his dark secrets is in their crosshairs Cemetery Road is not just a suspenseful thriller, with all its many twists and turns, and layers of deceptions It is also a stellar piece of southern fiction, with Gothic elements that only the south can lay claim to The characters are flawed every single one of them some than others, and Marshall, no saint himself, is forced to stare his demons in the face, to make eye contact with them, as everything he thought he knew wavers and fades like a mirage in the desert Under scrutiny is the moral compromises made in the name of capitalism, the mythology of our youth, the hope of recapturing a lost opportunity, while trying to do what is right for all concerned For Marshall, it is personal, perhaps, as he is also coping with deeply embedded grief and carrying a heavy burden of guilt bestowed upon him by his embittered father However, he is also trying to save his father s newspaper, cover his own butt, and protect the women he loves I often found myself on the edge of my seat, as Marshall survives one major event after another by the seat of his pants, and as the shock waves reverberate relentlessly It was hard to put the book down for any length of time At the end of the day, Iles proves, yet again, his intimate knowledge of the old southern realities, still prevalent and still thriving But, at the end of the day, his characters, though bruised and bleeding, may finally shake off the ghosts of the past, each in his or her own way, while southern style justice continues to work in the most mysterious of ways.